Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Closing of the Year

So we come to the closing of the year. A small lift of light, as the sun begins to return. A slant gleam at five o'clock. No more than that. We are still in the dark of winter.

It has been an important year for me in several ways, none of them very amenable to summation. But you might render it down just to this: that for the first time I have nothing to record. The end of this year is just like the end of last year, except -- except -- that I see it and welcome it this time.

I can, when I'm tired, lean my head against death and find a moment's peace. Ride on my anxiety as a boat rocks on dark water.

Nothing is going to happen. Except that the leafless birches are going to stir the air with a fine netting of gray twigs, fractal lines of dark gray against a light gray sky, and the rain will kiss my face. People will come and go, happy and sad, pleased and angry. It doesn't add up to anything, and it never has. Not that that kept me from frantically doing sums and running projections.

Something new happened this year. I got Christmas cards from people that moved me. I have occasionally gotten a Christmas card from someone far away which touched me. Never more than one or two in one season, though. I got three from bloggers this year. I felt abashed and grateful, and I found it hard to believe that anyone would go to all that trouble, let alone three people. Ours has been a still and isolated life, I guess; I had come to think of Christmas cards as something that came from dentists and veterinarians, conscientiously tending their practices. I've never sent them myself. It occurs to me that I actually could, that I have people to send them to now.

The closing of the year. I like the idea of a year closing, as a shop or a flower closes, the valuable vulnerable things put away safe, everything folded down quiet and dark.

Bless you all, and thank you. May the opening light of the new year be good to you.

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